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Social Justice Club hopes to unite the community

Have you ever thought of becoming a real superhero?

There is a new club on campus whose members call themselves the Social Justice League in honor of the comic-book heroes – even though their real name is the Social Justice Club.

The club, which began this semester, was officially recognized by Wesleyan on Sept. 14 and originated out of the sociology and criminal justice clubs, but is not limited to students with those two majors.

According to its mission statement, the club focuses on “learning about and acting on social issues particularly those affecting the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in populations. We encourage awareness and actions that will lead to a more just world.”

Alex Zamores, president of the club and a junior sociology major, said she is passionate about helping people and she wants to create an impact and a purpose with a sense of direction while at Wesleyan.

“I think what attracts people to the club is that the students are trying to make the world a better place and trying to at least make a difference in some way, shape or form even if it’s just a small thing like making someone smile or giving them a gift, donating cans, or whatever we are doing,” Zamores said.

The club gives students a sense of fulfillment and speaks for everyone who needs a voice or anyone who needs help, Zamores said.

“We don’t just focus on any one thing,” Zamores said.

To kick off the club, members dressed up as super heroes on Oct. 29 and promoted the club with an officer from the Fort Worth Police Department as a recruitment event to let people know about the club and give them a chance to sign up, said Dr. Cary Adkinson, assistant professor of criminal justice and one of the club’s co-adviors.

“The primary reason we wanted to have this club on campus is like the title suggests, our students at Wesleyan tend to be very engaged with trying to help people in the community and making a difference not just on campus, but outside of campus also,” Adkinson said.

The club is completely student driven and is growing quickly with 30 members already.  

“Personally, I would like to see this club be a lot more engaged and involved in reaching out to other majors on campus to let them know this is something open to everyone, not just specific majors,” Adkinson said.

The more the club reflects the diversity of the people it is trying to help, the better it will be able to serve them, Adkinson said.

“I hope that the message gets out about how welcoming this club is towards anyone who wants to participate and how welcoming we are to student driven ideas to what they want to do, like the superhero dress up day,” Adkinson said. “This is not an organization that will be forcing an agenda on students, but instead it is student driven. We want to students to take initiative.”

Esther Bittick-Caldwell, the club’s historian and a senior criminal justice major, said she got started with the club because she really wanted to do something.

“My passion is working with people,” Bittick-Caldwell said. “One of our goals is helping people out in the community and within the campus by joining us all together as one group. If anyone is wants to give to the community and wants to give back to others this is a great group to join.”

The club is trying to create a unified atmosphere between the community and the campus.

“We’re just people trying to unite people,” Bittick-Caldwell said.

There is talk of recreating a garden in the neighborhood that students could go to. Laura Valaquez, the club’s secretary, is from the Polytechnic area and is in the process of creating a program where students can go and read to kids in local schools.

Members have also discussed having local barber shops shave and clean the homeless, and Bittick-Caldwell has started a food drive as well, said Dr. Allison Simons, assistant professor of sociology and one of the club’s advisors.

“The club wants to create ties with the Polytechnic community so the people can come and address issues to see where the club can help,” Simons said. “As advisors, we are basically leaving our hands off and letting the students choose what they want to do within the community, but the mission is to help.”

Photo courtesy of Dr. Cary Adkinson. Social Justice Club dresses up as superheros to give a voice for students.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Cary Adkinson. Social Justice Club dresses up as superheros to give a voice for students.
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Social Justice Club hopes to unite the community